Veterinary parasitology

First genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii in stray cats from Algeria.

PMID 28495193


Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease with worldwide distribution and a major public health problem. In Algeria, no data are currently available about genotypes of Toxoplasma gondii isolated from animals or humans. The present study assesses for the first time the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis in stray cats, and provides molecular characterization of T. gondii strains circulating in this feline population in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria. Sera from 96 stray cats were tested for the presence of antibodies against T. gondii using the modified agglutination test. The seroprevalence was 50% (48/96) using 1:6 as the positivity cut-off. Different organs samples from stray cats, including heart samples, were tested for the presence of Toxoplasma DNA using real-time PCR. T. Gondii DNA was detected in 90.6% (87/96) of hearts. Of these parasitic DNAs, 22 were submitted to genotyping through the analysis of 15 microsatellite markers. The identified genotypes (12 of 22) mainly belonged to the type II lineage.